resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
January, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 01
It's All in Your Mind
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy New Year! Hope you had, or are having, a most joyous season of holidays. I want to start this year off with a rather esoteric editorial on how we as massage therapists, being alternative providers, have the potential to change the entire focus of health care in America. This is pretty heavy, conceptual stuff. I hope you can be open to at least thinking about it.
It is dysfunctional, or at least non-serving thought patterns, mostly unconscious, that are the root of most people's problems and conditions. Healing the mind is the only lasting way of healing the body and bringing about lasting health and wellness.
Increased awareness is an important initial first step, and touch therapies like massage have the potential to play an essential role in developing self-awareness. As alternative providers, we should be providing alternative health knowledge (education) to everyone we touch. Leading by example, we can heal the world one heart-mind at a time. From the non-dualistic perspective, what you do for or to others, you are doing to and for yourself. Likewise, what you do to and for yourself, you are doing to and for others. Think about it. Health is a conscious choice. Health is not a right. To get it, we have to pursue it. No one can get it for us, and no one can give it to us. It is a conscious choice each one of us must make and then pursue with passion and dedication.
Are we as a profession interested in helping people achieve health, or are we interested in temporarily relieving symptoms, be they stress or more specific ones? If we are interested in helping people achieve health, we have to be their example. No one can lead where they have not been. If we are just interested in temporarily relieving symptoms, then we should focus on sickness like the allopaths do. Learn all about it. You will get what you focus on, so you will get lots of symptoms, probably in your body as well as in the patients you see. (Doctors die relatively young.)
This attitude requires very little personal responsibility from either the patient or the provider. Address the patient's symptom, be it stress or trigger points, and send them on their way. Hope they will call back regularly for more symptomatic relief. Then wonder why they disappear after a while, only to learn they are desperately seeking help from another provider who, sadly, will probably only treat their symptoms, just differently. So few choose the path of health because it is more difficult, but the rewards come back many times over the effort required in something called "quality of life" or "wellness." It also comes back as a booked-solid practice with people begging you to help them.
This presents the massage profession with a tough choice. We tend to look for the easy way out. I am often told to lighten up: "It's just a massage." I am told there is no need to spend more time learning about health; just learn to push some oil around and help people relax. Anyone can learn to do massage. It's no big deal, I am told. We sell ourselves so short sometimes.
As a profession, we need a change of focus from being in the massage business to being in the people and health business. We also have the opportunity to bring about a huge paradigm shift in health care if we will just step up to the plate. The problem with health care today is that its focus is on the professions. That is what all the turf wars and licensing battles are about. The professions win and the patients lose every time. The current system is about maximizing profit, not wellness, to the point that it is against the best interests of the system to allow wellness. It is time to turn the focus toward the patient, providing the best and most cost-effective care and wellness possible. Only the alternative disciplines can do this, and massage has the biggest chance of success.
Hippocrates wrote, "It is more important to know what kind of person the disease has than what kind of disease the person has." By putting the patient first. By treating the person, the whole person, and by focusing on wellness instead of sickness (symptoms), we can set a new standard of health care and the public will flock to us.
Get into the people and health business, put the patient first, and learn your stuff, especially how to assess and treat the patient with soft-tissue pain. Walk your talk. When you can get people out of pain, prevent injuries and inspire people to reach for high-level wellness, you will not have to participate in the economic downturn. You will have patients begging you to work on them, as do those of us who have already made this investment in ourselves. Join in while it is still allowed, for humanity's sake.
GM Food vs. Your Organs
In research conducted at the request of the Austrian Health Ministry, Professor Jurgen Zentek found that Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) corn (MON863) can have negative effects on animal reproductive systems, leading to sterility in three to four generations. Monsanto's own studies have shown organ damage, as have other studies since 1998. Of course, Monsanto denies the charges based on the fact that bureaucrats and politicians all over the world have approved the stuff as safe to eat. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have approved GM foods, prevented foods from being labeled as GM and forced them on the rest of the world. This is not expected to stop anytime soon.
This is about massage, by the way. Sterility and organ damage will cause much stress and probably soft-tissue conditions (visceral-somatic reactions) that we will be seeing on our tables eventually. They continue to justify human suffering in the name of profit. If you care to learn more, see www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_15588.cfm.
I'll be back in March. Bring your kites.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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